Craig O. Heinke - University of Alberta

Craig O. Heinke
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Craig O. Heinke
University of Alberta

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (30)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (13)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (13)
Astrophysics (8)
Nuclear Theory (4)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (3)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (3)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (1)

Publications Authored By Craig O. Heinke

47 Tuc X9 is a low mass X-ray binary (LMXB) in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, and was previously thought to be a cataclysmic variable. However, Miller-Jones et al. (2015) recently identified a radio counterpart to X9 (inferring a radio/X-ray luminosity ratio consistent with black hole LMXBs), and suggested that the donor star might be a white dwarf. Read More

If millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are responsible for the excess gamma-ray emission observed from the region surrounding the Galactic Center, the same region should also contain a large population of low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). In this study, we compile and utilize a sizable catalog of LMXBs observed in the the Milky Way's globular cluster system and in the Inner Galaxy, as well as the gamma-ray emission observed from globular clusters, to estimate the flux of gamma rays predicted from MSPs in the Inner Galaxy. From this comparison, we conclude that only up to $\sim$4-23% of the observed gamma-ray excess is likely to originate from MSPs. Read More

Affiliations: 1Michigan St., 2Michigan St., 3Michigan St., 4Alberta, 5Warsaw, 6Michigan St., 7Michigan St., 8Michigan St.

We report the discovery of an eclipsing low-mass X-ray binary at the center of the 3FGL error ellipse of the unassociated Fermi/Large Area Telescope gamma-ray source 3FGL J0427.9-6704. Photometry from OGLE and the SMARTS 1. Read More

We present Chandra and Swift X-ray observations of four extremely low-mass (ELM) white dwarfs with massive companions. We place stringent limits on X-ray emission from all four systems, indicating that neutron star companions are extremely unlikely and that the companions are almost certainly white dwarfs. Given the observed orbital periods and radial velocity amplitudes, the total masses of these binaries are greater than 1. Read More

We present Chandra ACIS-S sub-array observations of the quiescent neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries X7 and X5 in the globular cluster 47 Tuc. The large reduction in photon pile-up compared to previous deep exposures enables a substantial improvement in the spectroscopic determination of the neutron star radius and mass of these neutron stars. Modeling the thermal emission from the neutron star surface with a non-magnetized hydrogen atmosphere and accounting for numerous sources of uncertainties, we obtain for the neutron star in X7 a radius of $R=11. Read More

In quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries (qLMXBs) containing neutron stars, the origin of the thermal X-ray component may be either release of heat from the core of the neutron star, or continuing low-level accretion. In general, heat from the core should be stable on timescales $<10^4$ years, while continuing accretion may produce variations on a range of timescales. While some quiescent neutron stars (e. Read More

We present near-simultaneous Chandra/HST observations of the very faint ($L_{x} < 10^{36}$ erg s$^{-1}$) X-ray transient source M15 X-3, as well as unpublished archival Chandra observations of M15 X-3. The Chandra observations constrain the luminosity of M15 X-3 to be $< 10^{34}$ erg s$^{-1}$ in all observed epochs. The X-ray spectrum shows evidence of curvature, and prefers a fit to a broken power-law with break energy $E_{\rm break} = 2. Read More

We present a comprehensive study of spectroscopic radius measurements of twelve neutron stars obtained during thermonuclear bursts or in quiescence. We incorporate, for the first time, a large number of systematic uncertainties in the measurement of the apparent angular sizes, Eddington fluxes, and distances, in the composition of the interstellar medium, and in the flux calibration of X-ray detectors. We also take into account the results of recent theoretical calculations of rotational effects on neutron star radii, of atmospheric effects on surface spectra, and of relativistic corrections to the Eddington critical flux. Read More

The observed rapid cooling of the Cassiopeia A neutron star can be interpreted as being caused by neutron and proton transitions from normal to superfluid and superconducting states in the stellar core. Here we present two new Chandra ACIS-S Graded observations of this neutron star and measurements of the neutron star mass M and radius R found from consistent fitting of both the X-ray spectra and cooling behavior. This comparison is only possible for individual nuclear equations of state. Read More

(abridged) In this paper, we constrain the properties of primordial binary populations in Galactic globular clusters using the MOCCA Monte Carlo code for cluster evolution. Our results are compared to the observations of Milone et al. (2012) using the photometric binary populations as proxies for the true underlying distributions, in order to test the hypothesis that the data are consistent with an universal initial binary fraction near unity and the binary orbital parameter distributions of Kroupa (1995). Read More

In this paper, we address the question: What is the probability of stellar-mass black hole (BH) binaries co-existing in a globular cluster with an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH)? Our results suggest that the detection of one or more BH binaries can strongly constrain the presence of an IMBH in most Galactic globular clusters. More specifically, the detection of one or more BH binaries could strongly indicate against the presence of an IMBH more massive than $\gtrsim 10^3$ M$_{\rm \odot}$ in roughly 80\% of the clusters in our sample. To illustrate this, we use a combination of N-body simulations and analytic methods to weigh the rate of formation of BH binaries against their ejection and/or disruption rate via strong gravitational interactions with the central (most) massive BH. Read More

A number of radio pulsars exhibit intriguing mode-switching behavior. Recent observations of PSR B0943+10 revealed correlated radio and X-ray mode switches, providing a new avenue for understanding this class of objects. The large X-ray pulse fraction observed during the radio quiet phase (Q mode) was previously interpreted as a result of changing obscuration of X-rays by dense magnetosphere plasma. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2University of Alberta, 3University of Alberta, 4Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 5Suffolk University, 6University of Southampton

We use K-band spectroscopy of the counterpart to the rapidly variable X-ray transient XMMU J174445.5-295044 to identify it as a new symbiotic X-ray binary. XMMU J174445. Read More

(Abbreviated) We present a study of the X-ray properties of five Galactic supernova remnants (SNRs) -- Kes 17 (G304.6$+$0.1), G311. Read More

We provide the Chandra source list for the last ~quarter of the area covered by the Galactic Bulge Survey (GBS). The GBS targets two strips of 6\degr x 1\degr (12 square degrees in total), one above (1\degrRead More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2University of Alberta, 3University of Alberta, 4Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 5Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 6Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research, 7Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, 8Sam Houston State University, 9University of Michigan, 10University of Alberta

We report and study the outburst of a new transient X-ray binary (XRB) in Terzan 5, the third detected in this globular cluster, Swift J174805.3-244637 or Terzan 5 X-3. We find clear spectral hardening in Swift/XRT data during the outburst rise to the hard state, thanks to our early coverage (starting at L_X ~ 4x10^{34} ergs/s) of the outburst. Read More

The X-ray transient IGR J18245-2452 in the globular cluster M28 contains the first neutron star (NS) seen to switch between rotation-powered and accretion-powered pulsations. We analyse its 2013 March-April 25d-long outburst as observed by Swift, which had a peak bolometric luminosity of ~6% of the Eddington limit (L$_{E}$), and give detailed properties of the thermonuclear burst observed on 2013 April 7. We also present a detailed analysis of new and archival Chandra data, which we use to study quiescent emission from IGR J18245-2452 between 2002 and 2013. Read More

We present optical and X-ray observations of two tidally distorted, extremely low-mass white dwarfs (WDs) with massive companions. There is no evidence of neutron stars in our Chandra and XMM observations of these objects. SDSS J075141. Read More

We report a sensitive X-ray search for the proposed intermediate mass black hole (IMBH) in the massive Galactic cluster, Omega Centauri (NGC 5139). Combining Chandra X-ray Observatory data from Cycles 1 and 13, we obtain a deep (~291 ks) exposure of the central regions of the cluster. We find no evidence for an X-ray point source near any of the cluster's proposed dynamical centers, and place an upper limit on the X-ray flux from a central source of f_X(0. Read More

We present optical spectroscopy, astrometry, radio, and X-ray observations of the runaway binary LP 400-22. We refine the orbital parameters of the system based on our new radial velocity observations. Our parallax data indicate that LP 400-22 is significantly more distant (3 sigma lower limit of 840 pc) than initially predicted. Read More

We report the discovery of a candidate stellar-mass black hole in the Milky Way globular cluster M62. We detected the black hole candidate, which we term M62-VLA1, in the core of the cluster using deep radio continuum imaging from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. Read More

We present recent work on using astronomical observations of neutron stars to reveal unique insights into nuclear matter that cannot be obtained from laboratories on Earth. First, we discuss our measurement of the rapid cooling of the youngest neutron star in the Galaxy; this provides the first direct evidence for superfluidity and superconductivity in the supra-nuclear core of neutron stars. We show that observations of thermonuclear X-ray bursts on neutron stars can be used to constrain properties of neutron superfluidity and neutrino emission. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2Liverpool John Moores University, 3University of Alberta, 4University of Durham, 5University of Alberta, 6University of Warwick, 7University of Leicester

We present a photometric survey of the optical counterparts of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) observed with the Hubble Space Telescope in nearby (< 5 Mpc) galaxies. Of the 33 ULXs with Hubble & Chandra data, 9 have no visible counterpart, placing limits on their M_V of ~ -4 to -9, enabling us to rule out O-type companions in 4 cases. The refined positions of two ULXs place them in the nucleus of their host galaxy. Read More

I summarize some constraints on the physics of neutron stars arising from X-ray observations of the surfaces of neutron stars, focusing on using models of low-magnetic-field neutron star atmospheres to interpret their X-ray spectra. I discuss observations of spectral lines, pulsation profiles, X-ray bursts, radius measurements of transiently accreting neutron stars in quiescence, crust and core cooling measurements of transiently accreting neutron stars, and cooling of young neutron stars. These observations have constrained the neutron star mass and radius (and thus the internal composition, and dense matter equation of state), the superfluidity and neutrino emissivity properties of the core, and the composition and superfluid state of the crust. Read More

The high stellar densities in the cores of globular clusters cause significant stellar interactions. These stellar interactions can produce close binary mass-transferring systems involving compact objects and their progeny, such as X-ray binaries and radio millisecond pulsars. Comparing the numbers of these systems and interaction rates in different clusters drives our understanding of how cluster parameters affect the production of close binaries. Read More

The mass and radius of the neutron star (NS) in low-mass X-ray binaries can be obtained by fitting the X-ray spectrum of the NS in quiescence, and the mass and radius constrains the properties of dense matter in NS cores. A critical ingredient for spectral fits is the composition of the NS atmosphere: hydrogen atmospheres are assumed in most prior work, but helium atmospheres are possible if the donor star is a helium white dwarf. Here we perform spectral fits to XMM, Chandra, and ROSAT data of a quiescent NS in the globular cluster M13. Read More

We report the results of a joint \chandra-\hst study of the X-ray binary population in the massive, high-density globular cluster NGC 6388. NGC 6388 has one of the highest predicted X-ray binary production rate of any Galactic cluster. We detected a large population of 61 \chandra sources within the half-mass radius with L$_X > 5 \times 10^{30}$ \ergs. Read More

We present new radial velocity and X-ray observations of extremely low-mass (ELM, 0.2 Msol) white dwarf candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 area. We identify seven new binary systems with 1-18 h orbital periods. Read More

With a goal of searching for accreting intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs), we report the results of ultra-deep Jansky VLA radio continuum observations of the cores of three Galactic globular clusters: M15, M19, and M22. We reach rms noise levels of 1.5-2. Read More

We have performed the first sensitive X-ray observation of the low-mass X-ray binary SAX J1750.8-2900 in quiescence with XMM-Newton. The spectrum was fit to both a classical black body model, and a non-magnetized, pure hydrogen neutron star atmosphere model. Read More

Affiliations: 1U of Alberta, 2U of Alberta, 3U of Alberta, 4U of Alberta, 5Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

We present a candidate orbital period for the low mass X-ray binary XB 1832-330 in the globular cluster NGC 6652 using a 6.5 hour Gemini South observation of the optical counterpart of the system. Light curves in g' and r' for two LMXBs in the cluster, sources A and B in previous literature, were extracted and analyzed for periodicity using the ISIS image subtraction package. Read More

We have searched for optical identifications for 79 Chandra X-ray sources that lie within the half-mass radius of the nearby, core-collapsed globular cluster NGC 6397, using deep Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys Wide Field Channel imaging in H-alpha, R, and B. Photometry of these images allows us to classify candidate counterparts based on color-magnitude diagram location. In addition to recovering nine previously detected cataclysmic variables (CVs), we have identified six additional faint CV candidates, a total of 42 active binaries (ABs), two millisecond pulsars (MSPs), one candidate active galactic nucleus, and one candidate interacting galaxy pair. Read More

I review recent work on X-ray sources in Galactic globular clusters, identified with low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), cataclysmic variables (CVs), millisecond pulsars (MSPs) and coronally active binaries by Chandra. Faint transient LMXBs have been identified in several clusters, challenging our understanding of accretion disk instabilities. Spectral fitting of X-rays from quiescent LMXBs offers the potential to constrain the interior structure of neutron stars. Read More

We present a Chandra X-ray Observatory investigation of the millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). In what is one of the deepest X-ray observations of a globular cluster, we firmly detect seven and possibly detect two of the twelve known M28 pulsars. With the exception of PSRs B1821-24 and J1824-2452H, the detected pulsars have relatively soft spectra, with X-ray luminosities 10^30-31 ergs s^-1 (0. Read More

Affiliations: 1SSL/UC Berkeley, 2Univ. of Alberta, 3Columbia University, 4Univ. of Iowa, 5AIM - Univ. Paris VII and CEA Saclay, 6AIM - Univ. Paris VII and CEA Saclay, 7SSL/UC Berkeley

The field containing the candidate High Mass X-ray Binary IGR J01363+6610 was observed by XMM-Newton on 2009 July 31 for 28 ks. A Be star was previously suggested as the possible counterpart of the INTEGRAL source, and although Chandra, during a 2007 observation, did not detect an X-ray source at the position of the Be star, we find a variable source (XMMU J013549.5+661243) with an average X-ray flux of 2e-13 ergs/cm2/s (0. Read More

According to recent results of Ho & Heinke (2009) and Heinke & Ho (2010), the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant contains a young neutron star which has carbon atmosphere and shows noticeable decline of the effective surface temperature. We report a new (November 2010) Chandra observation which confirms the previously reported decline rate. The decline is naturally explained if neutrons have recently become superfluid (in triplet-state) in the NS core, producing a splash of neutrino emission due to Cooper pair formation (CPF) process that currently accelerates the cooling. Read More

We describe new radial velocity and X-ray observations of extremely low-mass white dwarfs (ELM WDs, ~0.2 Msol) in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4 and the MMT Hypervelocity Star survey. We identify four new short period binaries, including two merger systems. Read More

We explore the thermal state of the neutron star in the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant using the recent result of Ho & Heinke (Nature, 462, 71 (2009)) that the thermal radiation of this star is well-described by a carbon atmosphere model and the emission comes from the entire stellar surface. Starting from neutron star cooling theory, we formulate a robust method to extract neutrino cooling rates of thermally relaxed stars at the neutrino cooling stage from observations of thermal surface radiation. We show how to compare these rates with the rates of standard candles -- stars with non-superfluid nucleon cores cooling slowly via the modified Urca process. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2University of Southampton

The cooling rate of young neutron stars gives direct insight into their internal makeup. Although the temperatures of several young neutron stars have been measured, until now a young neutron star has never been observed to decrease in temperature over time. We fit 9 years of archival Chandra ACIS spectra of the likely neutron star in the ~330 years old Cassiopeia A supernova remnant with our non-magnetic carbon atmosphere model. Read More

We present a deep Chandra X-ray Observatory study of the peculiar binary radio millisecond pulsar PSR J1740--5340 and candidate millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the globular cluster NGC 6397. The X-rays from PSR J1740--5340 appear to be non-thermal and exhibit variability at the binary period. These properties suggest the presence of a relativistic intrabinary shock formed due to interaction of a relativistic rotation-powered pulsar wind and outflow from the unusual "red-straggler/sub-subgiant" companion. Read More

The surface of hot neutron stars is covered by a thin atmosphere. If there is accretion after neutron star formation, the atmosphere could be composed of light elements (H or He); if no accretion takes place or if thermonuclear reactions occur after accretion, heavy elements (for example, Fe) are expected. Despite detailed searches, observations have been unable to confirm the atmospheric composition of isolated neutron stars. Read More

Affiliations: 1Columbia U, 2U of Alberta, 3Columbia U, 4CfA, 5U of Washington, 6Arecibo Obs, 7Gemini Obs, 8Steward Obs, 9U of Washington

SDSS J091709.55+463821.8 (hereafter J0917+4638) is the lowest surface gravity white dwarf (WD) currently known, with log g = 5. Read More

We have identified an X-ray transient (hereafter M15 X-3) in the globular cluster M15 from an archival Chandra grating observation. M15 X-3 appears at an X-ray luminosity of 6*10^{33} ergs/s with a spectrum consistent with an absorbed power law of photon index 1.51+-0. Read More


We compare the X-ray spectra and luminosities, in the 2-8 keV band, of known and suspected cataclysmic variables (CVs) in different environments, assessing the nature of these source populations. These objects include nearby CVs observed with ASCA; the Galactic Center X-ray source population identified by Muno et al.; and likely CVs identified in globular clusters. Read More

Dynamical interactions that occur between objects in dense stellar systems are particularly important for the question of formation of X-ray binaries. We present results of numerical simulations of 70 globular clusters with different dynamical properties and a total stellar mass of 2*10^7 Msun. We find that in order to retain enough neutron stars to match observations we must assume that NSs can be formed via electron-capture supernovae. Read More

In this contribution we discuss how neutron stars are produced and retained in globular clusters, outlining the most important dynamical channels and evolutionary events that affect thepopulation of mass-transferring binaries with neutron stars and result in the formation of recycled pulsars. We confirm the importance of electron-capture supernovae in globular clusters as the major supplier of retained neutron stars.By comparing the observed millisecond pulsar population and the results obtained from simulations, we discuss several constraints on the evolution of mass-transferring systems. Read More

We report the detection of six discrete, low-luminosity (Lx < 10^33 erg/s) X-ray sources, located within 12 arcsec of the center of the collapsed-core globular cluster M30 (NGC 7099), and a total of 13 sources within the half-mass radius, from a 50 ksec Chandra ACIS-S exposure. Three sources lie within the very small upper limit of 1.9 arcsec on the core radius. Read More

A commonly used measure to summarize the nature of a photon spectrum is the so-called Hardness Ratio, which compares the number of counts observed in different passbands. The hardness ratio is especially useful to distinguish between and categorize weak sources as a proxy for detailed spectral fitting. However, in this regime classical methods of error propagation fail, and the estimates of spectral hardness become unreliable. Read More

We present spectral and long-timescale variability analyses of \textit{Chandra} ACIS-S observations of the 19 millisecond pulsars (MSPs) with precisely known positions in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. The X-ray emission of the majority of these MSPs is well described by a thermal (blackbody or neutron star hydrogen atmosphere) spectrum with a temperature $T_{\rm eff}\sim(1-3)\times10^6$ K, emission radius $R_{\rm eff}\sim0.1-3$ km, and luminosity $L_{X}\sim10^{30-31}$ ergs s$^{-1}$. Read More

Current X-ray missions are providing high-quality X-ray spectra from neutron stars (NSs) in quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries (qLMXBs). This has motivated us to calculate new hydrogen-atmosphere models, including opacity due to free-free absorption and Thomson scattering, thermal electron conduction, and self-irradiation by photons from the compact object. We have constructed a self-consistent grid of neutron star models covering a wide range of surface gravities as well as effective temperatures, which we make available to the scientific community. Read More